Many of you will remember Dave Fearon’s epic ride a couple of years ago when he had to Gaffa tape his trainers to his pedals as he forgot his shoes, well this was the same event.
As many of you know, I am no stranger to getting up early, but when the alarm went off at 4:50 this morning I could have easily stayed in bed.
I had packed the car up last night so I left quietly careful not to wake the house up, I was on the road about 5:50, after forcing some porridge down (it’s a bit early for breakfast for me).
As I went past Milnrow, I had a Dave Fearon moment, I had forgotten my water bottle, which on the the face if it, doesn’t sound too much of a problem as someone is bound to have a spare bottle, however, I have an aero bottle, so I also need a cage. It was now 6:35, so it would take me 1.5 hrs to get back to the same place and would have been too late. I stopped off at a services statio on the off chance I could buy a bottle, no luck.
I arrived at HQ, at 7:50 and signed on, for my 9:06 start, Jim Williams had already signed on for his 9:09 start, and I was surprised by Alistar Stanway’s DNS Apologies as he didn’t get a ride yesterday. I asked around the HQ for a bottle and cage, as expected, no one could help.
Chris Gilberston had told me about a bit of scrubland up near the start, so I headed up there, Jim was there when I arrived, good news he had a bottle, but no cage, but fortunately, the only other guy there had a trading bike on his turbo with 2 cages, so I am managed to blag one of them, it was an old fashioned steel one but beggars can’t be choosers 😂. Thanks for the bottle Jim 😃
So onto the race, which is basically 2 laps of a circuit of the A168, My target was 26 MPH average, the outward leg had a cross head wind and climbed slightly to the the first turn is at 14 miles, I entered the slip road with 26 MPH average on the clock, around the roads to get back on the A168 weren’t very pleasant, and I had lost more time, I was down to 25.8, I thought my chances of a 26 MPH average had gone!
Back down the A168 for 12 miles, this time tail cross wind, which was unbelievably fast an soon my average was creeping up, as entered the Dishforth Sliproad, I was averaging 27, but with a grippy little climb I entered the last lap with an average of 26.7 MPH, so game on.
This was my first 50 this year so my back was beginning to feel the pain, I also struggled to concentrate on my power, and it was easy to dip below my target power as the speed gave you a false sense of security.
I caught quite a few riders, including my 11 minute man, I left the A168 for the final time up the Sliproad, out of the saddle up the last climb, my average dropped to 26.5, but I knew I was on for a good time. I stopped the clock on 1:53:23, an amazing 3:44 off my previous PB, I also finished 12th overall, so well chuffed with that.
Jim finished with a 2:07:47 and said he found the last lap tough and had nothing left, he had ridden the day before as well on the training ride, but obviously he is in training fir the 24hr next month so wasn’t really looking for a supper quick ride, just miles in the legs
The event was won Mark Thaxton HD Revolution with an impressive 1:43:30 (28.98 MPH)